L’oréal Award-winning Retail Displays


Amazing Temporary Brand Spaces

When it comes to a show-stopping temporary retail display in the likes of high-street retailers Boots or Superdrug, Impact and L’Oréal make a winning combination.

We love that they choose us again and again as their retail agency, and that we get to make unique and stand-out designs for their creative shopper displays. Again and again our retail units are recognised for being best-practice visual merchandising solutions.

So we were thrilled to be celebrated at the POPAI Awards 2021 for excellence, creativity and innovation in the shopper experience. Take a look at these amazing retail units, our award-winning displays designed and produced by the Impact team for L’Oréal.

L’Oréal Air Volume Display

Gold Winner - Cosmetics & Beauty Temporary Display Bronze Winner – Display of the Year

‘This display ticks all the boxes in terms of creative use of space, communication of complex messages and sustainability.’ - POPAI

Winning gold in its category for Cosmetics & Beauty plus beating the entrant pool to bronze for Temporary Display of the year, this is an exciting card display where, even in the pandemic conditions, sales performed exceptionally well and blew competitors out the water who could not adapt and innovate to the new shopper conditions.

With the circumstances of customers shopping within a pandemic, catching attention and communicating complex scientific product in a small space was even more of a challenge than ever before. Customers would be looking to spend a small amount of time instore, would be limited to a one-way system and not encouraged to return after consideration, and most customers would be looking to buy essentials only. With this in mind, the display needed to be exceptional in encouraging impulse buys of this brand-new product in such a fast-paced environment.

Every aspect of the design was developed with the key technology of the Air Volume Mega Mascara ‘mega volume, light as air’ in mind and contributed to this voluptuous feel, from the shape to the mix of aspirational and educational imagery.

The scientific technology of the product was new to market and something consumers would not have seen before, while also being a complex technology. Opposed to other mascaras customers would have been familiar with, this formula doesn’t simply layer onto the lash, it also injects air inside the lash to add volume and works across lash types. This was a key message the brand needed creative help to communicate within the small space of the unit and without too much copy that would detract from the attractive aesthetic.

Exciting Design In Covid-19 Conditions Our designers developed the shape, navigation and messaging hierarchy of the display unit to achieve L’Oréal’s objectives and make the shopper journey quick, easy and enjoyable within the intended retail environment, Superdrug stores within the Covid era.

The Paris skyline offers aspirational and desirable iconography for the target shopper, and we ensured the visual was the centrepiece, elegantly framed by the unit shaping and flowing across all layers. The Paris backdrop anchors together the different layers and continues the aspirational feel even as shoppers may drop their eye level. The product itself has a metallic pink coat and we were able to apply blending of colours to achieve this effect on the product factice and other areas, without using any extra materials other than card. This makes the unit a more sustainable solution, as the route to recycle is clean and simple.

The 3D layering elements we developed, as well as being an intriguing look for the retail design, allowed us to include different types of easily digestible communication on the complex technology of the product to educate the shopper quickly and demonstrate its unique benefits. The use of overlapping with the layering in the display allows the messaging journey to flow without overloading the customer with information at once. The curved, floating layers also give a cloud-like feel, to enhance the ‘lighter than air’ theme.

To keep display copy to a minimum and present key messaging effectively we used visual ‘pictograms’. These simple graphics represented an eyelash in three different scenarios: with no mascara, with a competitor mascara adding a layer around the lash, and with the new Air Volume mascara adding air within the lash and around it. The brand also wanted to add inclusivity into their messaging with visuals of before and after of different types of lashes. We were able to include this without overwhelming the retail display with messages by developing another small layer to fit snugly between product shelf and product factice graphic.

A one-stop-shop for the model look promoted in the display, after following the messaging journey, the shopper then navigates to a diverse range of products that can achieve the same look. The visual merchandising includes not just the advertised mascara, but also eyeliner, brows, primer, foundation and concealer, offering extra value in the display as it does all the work for the customer in achieving the right product selection in one place, plus diversity and inclusiveness in its range of skin tones included within the display. The range of product and focus on diversity was a conscious choice in the display, made at the expense of having a more stock-intensive unit, but ultimately paying off in the fantastic success of the unit.

Corporate Sustainability Objectives

Sustainability and environmental ethics are integral objectives to the materials we use and the manufacturing processes we choose within any project. These objectives are equally important to L’Oréal and furthermore their consumers too, so we undertake their projects with a commitment to this ethos. The L’Oréal Air Volume unit was made using 100% recycled card, plus also any outer boxes used in the delivery process are made also from recycled card. We used our in-house manufacturing capabilities to print and assemble this project all within our factory so that mileage is kept to a minimum. In addition to this, the glues and inks we use have the lowest level of solvent available.

An Award-Worthy Retail Display

The result of our collaboration with L’Oréal was a stunning temporary card display that worked effectively and achieved an incredible performance in its retail environment, even under the most exceptional conditions of a global pandemic with adjusted consumer behaviour.

We were able to demonstrate creativity that flowed outside normal Superdrug restrictions while within the store boundaries, playing unusually with space to maximise complex messaging and showcase not only an attractive product, but its product range too to complete a showcased aspirational look.

This unit was launched into a retail environment where consumers were more time-constrained than ever. Yet we successfully managed to communicate and convert customers on this new complex technology by incorporating effective use of keyword copy and simple pictograms to simplify the message and communicate the unique selling points to optimize the path to understand the product and subsequently the path to purchase.

The sales from this display unit performed exceptionally well and blew competitors out the water who could not similarly adapt and innovate for these new shopping conditions. It has become a ‘Best In Class’ example at L’Oréal Hammersmith office for their cosmetics displays. The Air Volume Mascara was L’Oréal’s most successful mascara launch since 2017, and overtook the number one mascara on the high street and became the number two mascara brand player.

L’Oréal Magic Retouch

Silver Winner - Cosmetics & Beauty Permanent Display

‘It has exceeded expectations with the execution and meeting the demands of the project, is used as best practice within the company and a point of reference when demonstrating instore execution.’ – L’Oréal

A rare chance to push boundaries, L’Oréal was given creative freedom and allowed to work outside of normal Boots’ tray structures and artwork limitations to update their standard ‘Root Touch Up’ top shelf display.

For this opportunity, L’Oréal approached Impact for a semi-permanent retail unit to promote their Magic Retouch range, giving an open brief only with limitations on width and shelf depth, while being able to use up to double the normal height for shelf units.

L’Oréal asked us to design and develop concepts for something that would take advantage of the free reign, something super creative that would stand out from the crowd. The brand wanted to grab attention to draw consumers to the colourants aisle, make an impact, and provide key messages quickly to the consumer on the Magic Retouch product and how it can be used, as to not demand customers spend too long in store during the Covid-19 era.

Space Innovation

Innovating in the area allocated to us, we developed a ‘double stacker’ retail display concept of splitting one shelf into two to maximise the use of space. This retail design of two shelves within the traditional Boots allocation of one, is not only an eye-catching break from the norm in the stores, but also a great story-telling concept to present that complete Magic Retouch collection, encouraging multiple purchases and maximising sales potential.

Strong colour blocking of the brand teal further enhances its eye-catching design, communicating the brand clearly and giving the unit striking standout within the environment against other colourant brands. A 3D product factice is an intriguing element which draws the eye, while also allowing the shopper to see the key product messaging quickly and without having to touch the stock – a great benefit to promote consumer safety during Covid-19.

It was important to demonstrate quickly and prominently what the product does as a priority in the messaging, with hair colour maintenance being a key pain point for consumers within the lockdown conditions. We achieved this at speed with visuals using a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ image and gave this plenty of space on the header board to support quick comprehension.

Following this, we used key marketing messaging of what the product is ‘Instant Root Concealer Spray’ and then its quality substantiation with ‘World’s No.1 Root Concealer’ so the shopper quickly understands what the product is, what it does and that it works effectively.

Touch-Free Technology

A QR code featured on the display encourages shoppers to scan to get more information on the product, supporting customer education in VR and giving more space for branding on the physical unit. The QR code offers information on the product and how to use it, again supporting the touch-free shopping experience and giving shoppers the opportunity to learn more at home outside the retail environment, whether they have finished the path the purchase during their time in store or not.

With our unique retail design, striking visual cues and impactful messaging, we were able to create a unit that demanded attention and quickly communicated key messages even with reduced time and contact instore. The use of technology within the unit further supported this challenging retail environment, offering further education via the QR code for both those who wish to purchase the product and those who require more consideration time and wish to learn more. By offering information on the product and how to use it, this technology supports the touch-free shopping experience and negates the need to pick and read the product packaging. The link to further education also fosters consideration of the product and offers take-home reading on the product and how it works.

Semi-Permanent Sustainability

This semi-permanent retail display is also another example of incorporating sustainability and environmental ethics into design objectives: the vacuum forming and metalwork of the display are both recyclable. To reduce packaging and make graphic updates a simple and cost-effective experience, the magnetic graphics and vinyl wrap can be sent out in lightweight sleeve packaging and store staff can update these themselves, as opposed to requiring merchandisers to travel and should last for 12 months minimum.

L’Oréal Wonder Water

Bronze Winner - Cosmetics & Beauty Temporary Display

‘This is such a standout unit and was the perfect instore touchpoint for Wonder Water and allowed consumers to explore the whole Dreamlengths range once they were hooked by the claims and information displayed on the unit.’ – L’Oréal

L’Oréal needed a show-stopping display for their new Wonder Water hair treatment, launching into the UK after seeing international success. Being a ‘cult product’, the retail unit aimed to be the instore access for consumers who had seen the viral product via other channels and needed to be instantly recognisable as both L’Oréal and Wonder Water. For consumers unfamiliar with the product’s success, as a brand-new technology concept, it was important to effectively communicate benefits and how to use it. So as well as building excitement around this new product launch, it was important for the display to have strong branding and bold store presence, plus effectively communicate key product messages. Another objective from the brand was also to present the full Dreamlengths routine and how Wonder Water fits into this story.

Playful Design Innovation

We designed and developed an eye-catching unit with unique shaping, layering and shelving to give the launch distinctive standout instore. The bold use of brand colour makes the display attractive to its target audience and recognisable as L’Oréal. A key message is the product works in eight seconds, so we framed the aspirational model shot in the silhouette of an ‘8’. A product factice and water textures across the display showcase the product and allow recognition from afar, while a step-by-step infographic educates shoppers and is placed within the layering design to optimise space.

A playful use of shelving and optimisation of space, means the display unit is able to present both new product as the hero and further products from the collection at its base without detracting from the aesthetics of the display. The addition of the wider collection story does not undermine the new product messaging, with its own distinct area that is clearly separate. The base cube is cleverly split to allow two shelves for the complete product range.

Launching A Cult Product Into The UK

This unique retail display launched a cult product into the UK and it was important to follow on the US success of ‘one sold every minute’. It was a hugely successful campaign even during the reduced footfall of lockdown. The design successfully translated the characteristics of the product, with its striking aesthetic with a softly flowing, curvaceous shape like water and its perfectly replicated brand colour that also complements the Superdrug branding and environment. The unit innovates in space and retail design to achieve its objectives and visually tell the exciting Wonder Water story.

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